One thing I am learning as my kids get older is that I can plan on absolutely nothing to go as planned. Take the other night, when I made enough taco meat to feed a small army, as my three sons sort of eat like one. But all the plans changed; one boy ate at a friend’s house, one boy had to work, and the third—who’s off at college but lives close enough to come to dinner sometimes—decided he had too much homework. So then I had a ton of leftover taco meat and needed something to do with it.
The recipe for Beef Enchiladas in The Lion House Cookbook seemed like the perfect answer. The cookbook is full of what I think of as “normal” recipes…just good, non-fussy food that’s fairly straightforward to prepare and doesn’t require anything exotic. Plus it’s got tons of desserts, which is of course the measure of a cookbook.
This recipe does include instructions for a beef filling, but take it from me: you can just use leftover taco meat! (I don’t know about you, but here’s how I make taco meat: hamburger, taco seasoning, a bunch of salsa, and two cans of refried black beans, heated and left to simmer for a little while so all the flavors meld.) Also, it makes tons of sauce. The book says it’ll cover 12 corn tortillas (which are small), but I used 18 flour tortillas and still had enough sauce to freeze for next time.
So if you need to increase the amounts, increase the filling but not the sauce.
With all of that said: these enchiladas were delicious! The sauce has a creamy richness that was perfectly offset with some tangy cheddar. (“Some” = not a small amount!) Even if you didn’t have any leftover taco meat already ready, these would be worth the effort of making the filling as well.
3 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
1 14.5-ounce can chili con carne without beans
1 14.5-ounce can kidney beans, blended
3 cups tomato juice
1 tsp basil
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp oregano
½ tsp crushed red pepper
Mix all ingredients together in a saucepan. Simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.
1 pound lean ground beef
½ cup tomato sauce
1 T taco seasoning
1 tsp crushed red pepper
2 tsp oregano
dash Tabasco sauce
¼ cup ground onion
12 corn tortillas
1 cup grated cheddar cheese, plus more for topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Brown ground beef in skillet, then drain grease. Add tomato sauce, taco seasoning, red pepper, oregano, and Tabasco sauce. Mix thoroughly. Divide beef mixture evenly onto corn or flour tortillas. Sprinkle cheese and ground onion over beef mixture; roll up tortillas. Spread some of the sauce in a glass casserole; place rolled enchiladas, seam side down, in dish. Pour the rest of the sauce over top. Bake 30 minutes. Sprinkle with extra cheese just before serving.